People walk by a restaurant damaged in the aftermath of Hurricane Lidia, in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico October 10, 2023.
Christian Ruano | Reuters
Lidia, a Category 4 hurricane, dissipated on Wednesday after making landfall near the resort of Puerto Vallarta. Sadly, one person was killed by a falling tree, and two others were injured as a result of the hurricane’s fierce winds.
The destructive forces of Hurricane Lidia uprooted trees, ripped off roofs, and caused widespread damage to houses in Puerto Vallarta, with wind speeds reaching up to 140 mph (220 kph). However, the hurricane progressively weakened as it moved further inland.
Laura Velázquez, the chief of Mexico’s civil defense system, reported that one person tragically lost their life on the outskirts of Puerto Vallarta after being struck by a falling tree, while two other individuals sustained injuries in other parts of the area.
According to the U.S. National Hurricane Center, Lidia’s wind speeds subsided to 35 mph as it dissipated approximately 145 miles (235 kilometers) northeast of Guadalajara, the second-largest city in Mexico and the capital of the state of Jalisco.
Before dissipating, Lidia made landfall on Cabo Corrientes, a sparsely populated peninsula, south of Puerto Vallarta. The hurricane’s wind speeds were recorded at 105 mph (165 kph) at the time, as confirmed by the National Hurricane Center.
Despite moving over land, Lidia maintained its destructive power, resulting in temporary road closures in the region. In response, Jalisco state opened 23 shelters, and the city government of Puerto Vallarta reported that a few dozen people sought refuge in shelters.
Lidia’s impact occurred shortly after Tropical Storm Max hit the southern Pacific coast, causing heavy rainfall that affected a coastal highway in Guerrero state. Unlike Lidia, Max quickly dissipated.
It is worth noting that in 2015, Hurricane Patricia, a Category 5 hurricane, also made landfall in the same thinly populated region between Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo.
Victor Hugo Romo, the head of the civil defense office in Jalisco state, mentioned that several homes in the landfall area had their roofs blown off by Lidia’s powerful winds. The city government of Puerto Vallarta also reported numerous fallen trees.
The neighboring state of Nayarit also experienced fallen trees due to the hurricane.
Additionally, on Wednesday, Tropical Storm Sean formed in the far reaches of the Atlantic. However, the Hurricane Center predicts that Sean will not strengthen significantly.
With winds of 40 mph (65 kph), Sean is currently located approximately 725 miles (1,170 kilometers) west-southwest of the Cape Verde Islands. The storm is moving west-northwest at a speed of 13 mph (20 kph). Forecasters anticipate Sean will weaken and become a tropical depression before reaching any landmass.
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